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Walk 2619 - printer friendly version

Belper to Cromford, Amber Valley Walk

Author - Paul Taylor

Length - 7.5 miles / 12.2 km

Ascent - 800 feet / 242 metres

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SK348475
Lat 53.023667 + Long -1.4826307
Postcode DE56 1DA (approx. location only)

From Belper Railway Station leave by the steps on the west side of the platform and walk along a narrow path adjacent to the railway line until you reach a main road (Field Lane). Turn right and walk 200 yards up to the T-junction and then turn left for 150 yards, along Green Lane, passing to your left Joseph, George, and then William Street (named after the sons of the local mill owner) before reaching another T-Junction. Now turn left onto a beautiful cobbled street named Long Row, and walk along past the two hundred-year-old two and three-storey cottages which were built to house workers at the local mill during the cradle of the Industrial Revolution.

At the end of Long Row cross over the road and head toward the large mill (North Mill) keeping it to your right as you cross the bridge over the River Derwent. At this point you can see to your right Belper River Gardens which during the summer months hosts the local Well Dressing Festival and has boats on which to take a pleasant trip upstream. As the road bends uphill to the left continue straight on and take the first turning right onto Wyver Lane. Walk along past some lovely cottages to your left, along the road which eventually becomes a track. Although only ten minutes from your starting point you are now into countryside with trees and bluebells to your left and the river to your right.

You now pass the reed lined Wyver Lane Pool which is a nature reserve owned by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust which during summer months is a haven for Swifts, Swallows and other birds as well as Dragonflies and Damselflies. As the lane bends off to the right to a nearby farm continue along a well worn path toward another farm ahead but before you reach the farm the path bends uphill. Follow this until you reach a single lane road. We now turn right and follow the road along, all the time admiring the view just below to your right, of fields, trees, river, and the railway line.

As the road meets another going uphill we continue straight ahead into some trees and along a track which turns downhill. Taking the route nearest the river we walk along for about half a mile until we reach some deserted factory buildings. Continue along with the buildings to your left and river to your right until you reach woodland. Here we take the path uphill through the trees and after a mildly taxing few minutes we reach the top. Continue northward along a path which skirts the trees and fields until the path itself takes you out of the woods and over fields onto the estate of Alderwasley Hall which should be slightly to your right as you follow the path.

As the track reaches the road we turn right onto it, through the village for about 300 yards where a footpath to the left is signposted 'Midshires Way'. Follow this along its course keeping straight on until the trail leads downhill toward farm buildings at Longway Bank. Cross the track and then continue alongside, then over, a stream which skirts the farm. You now head uphill through a small field towards a woodland then left along a track until you see a sign for a path which takes you through the woods and eventually downhill again to a road.

Continue straight across the road along a farm track and keep going past the camp site to your right. After about a mile this track bends off to the right then 100 yards later to the left, into woodland. As you follow the path which at first is ever so slightly downhill you pass under a bridge above which a former railway incline journeyed from the Cromford Canal up, via Black Rock and the National Stone Centre, to what is now Middleton Top Visitor Centre. We however continue downward to where the track turns into a road with houses either side. Follow this until you get to the bottom where you cross the main A6 road and head through a gap in the wall toward Cromford Mill.

Cromford Mill is well worth a visit as this is where the mass producing factory system was born, the brainchild of Sir Richard Arkwright, over two hundred years ago. The final half mile of this walk is along the road, with Cromford Mill and neighbouring church to your left. About 150 yards past the mill the road crosses a centuries old bridge and then bends immediately to the right. Follow this road along for another 400 yards until you see signs for Cromford Railway Station to your left. From here a scenic return train journey of less than fifteen minutes follows the canal, river, and road back to Belper.

A further extension to this route can found at Walk 2627 taking you through to Bakewell.

Walk 2619 Route Map

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